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Then at last, riding fast, he had lost quite
Wandering thus wearilye all alone, up and downe,
With a rude miller he mett at the last, Asking the ready way unto faire Nottingham ;
Sir, quoth the miller, I meane not to jest,
Passing thy judgment upon me so brief?
I guess thee to bee but some gentleman thiefe ;
Thou dost abuse me much, quoth the king, saying thus ;
I am a gentleman; lodging I lacke!
All thy inheritance hanges on thy backe !
If thou beest a true man, then quoth the miller,
I'll sweare by my toll-dish, I'll lodge thee all night;
Nay! soft, quoth the miller, thou may'st be a sprite.
Thus they went all along unto the millers house ;
Where they were seething of puddings and souse;
Never came hee in so smoakye a house.
• The King says this.
I like well thy countenance, thou hast an honest face;
With my son Richard this night thou shalt lye.
Yet it's best, husband, to deal warilye.
With his hatt in his hand, thus he did say-
But a poor courtyer rode out of my way;
Saying, it seemeth, this youth's of good kin,
To turn him out, certainlye, were a great sin.” Yea! quoth hee, you may see, he hath some grace When he doth speake to his betters in place. Well! quoth the millers wife, young man ye're welcome here,
And, though I say it, well lodged shall be,
And good brown hempen sheets likewise, quoth she,
Hast thou noe creatures in thy gay hose ?
I pray, quoth the king, what creatures are those ?
Till the teares trickled fast downe from his eyes ;
With hot bag-puddings and good apple-pyes, Nappy ale, good and stale, and in a browne bowle, Which did about the board merrilye trowle.
Fere, quoth the miller, good fellowe, I drinke to thee,
And to all good fellows, wherever they bee !
For my good welcome in everye degree,
And of his sweetnesse a little we'll taste.
Eate, quoth the miller, but, sir, make no waste.
For we doe eat it everye daye.
We never pay pennye for itt, by my fay;
Eche foole, quoth Richard, full well may know that :
Very well fleshed, and excellent fat;
We would not for two pence, the king should it knowe. Doubt not then, sayd the king, my promist secresy,
The king shall never know more on't for mee.
And to their bedds they past presentlie.
For to seeke out the king in everye towne.
As he was mounting upon his faire steede,
Which made the millers heart wofully bleede, Shaking and quaking, before him he stood,
Thinking he should have been hang'd, by the rood.